Vintage Gordon Giltrap Signature Deluxe
Originally launched in 2010, the Gordon Giltrap signature series comprised both six- and 12-string formats, designed by Brit luthier Rob Armstrong.
The mini range has now expanded up and downwards in terms of price and spec. Slotting in below the original VE2000GG (£499) six-string model and the VE2000GG-12 (£529) is the mahogany-topped V2000MGG (£399), and now topping the heap is this VE2000DLX 'Deluxe' version at £699 - all include a Kinsman case, too.
"We get Fishman's Rare Earth Blend magnetic soundhole pickup with an internal goose-neck mic"
So, what's the difference? We get the same design with its distinctive pinched waist and broad 405mm mini jumbo-like lower bouts, a beautifully aged-looking dark orange cedar top, but here the back and sides are rosewood, not mahogany - the back is solid with laminate sides.
The 'board and bridge are ebony not rosewood, and instead of the Fishman under- saddle system we get Fishman's Rare Earth Blend magnetic soundhole pickup with an internal goose-neck mic.
"The GG Deluxe is a very able player and impresses from the off"
The GG Deluxe is a very able player and impresses from the off: a full-bodied neck shape, generous string spacing, excellent fretting and a wide acoustic voice with thick lows and crisp highs. Amplified, the Rare Earth has had us as fans for years; in this Blend format, it adds a mic which you can position inside the guitar.
It adds realism, 'room' and crispness to the output. It's not that feedback-resistant, but you can dial in as little or as much as you like via the mix control.
Beautifully designed and made, this is a serious guitar for a decidedly semi-pro or amateur price. It loves drop tunings and seems just at home as a picker or strummer. That shape might be the only deal breaker. A good all-rounder; a lot of guitar for the money.
Good value, spec and build quality.
Rare Earth is a little susceptible to feedback.
Hats off to Mr Giltrap and his team. A rather good guitar just got even better.
Dark orange cedar
Fishman Rare Earth pickup